With close to 9,000 children aged between a few months and a year dying of pneumonia in Karnataka every year, vaccinations and immediate medical response to any kind of flu is a must for the treatment of children. “Pneumonia is spread mostly through aerosol and while it takes the average healthy adult five-six days for it to escalate, in case of children, it takes only three days. So, parents should pay attention to every symptom.
Fever, excessive crying and inability to sleep are symptoms which can be mistaken,” said Dr Hemanth HR, consultant, Critical Care, BGS Global Hospitals. But while the private sector is more than capable of securing good care for children and adults alike, the government hospitals are still a long way to go. “When it comes to advanced pneumonia, you need advanced ICU care but that is not possible in government hospitals because beds are still not enough especially considering the demand,” he said.
“Pneumonia claims lives of 1.5 million children under the age of five across the globe—20% of these deaths occur in India. This is far too much to accept from a country like India, which is one of world’s fastest growing economies.” said Nirmal Kumar Ganguly, bio-technologist and president of the Jawaharlal Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research.
Specialised vaccinations for all.
Lack of proper vaccinations for all is yet another issue that needs to be addressed, according to experts. “DTP vaccine is something that the government provides for all children. What we need to provide is this specialised vaccine called HIB, which is available in the private sector but is yet to seep into the government sector,” said Dr Adarsh Somashekar, head, Paediatrics, NationWide Primary Healthcare Services. “HIB vaccine can take care of 30-40 per cent of the infections that cause pneumonia in infants. In fact, in India diarrhoea and pneumonia are the main causes of infant mortality. The Karnataka government has said it will be bringing that vaccine in,” he said.